Feb 5, 2011
With the usual intention of actually doing a little promotion of
the podcast, I emailed TerrorBull Games and Gaming Paper to let
them know about our reviews (because they're the little guys -
haven't bothered with Hasbro or Lego yet but humbug insists there
might be one guy at Lego headquarters who's constantly trying to
push ahead the board game idea who'd be delighted to hear from us),
which so far we've only done with the dude who wrote Duty &
Honour (he said he appreciated our honesty because it was the only
negative review it'd ever had. WHY?). Both companies
wrote back! Gaming Paper said humbug's Army of Darkness bit
was very funny and I don't believe them, and Andrew from TerrorBull
Games had loads of excellent stuff to say about War on Terror,
which he gave us permission to reproduce here:
Thanks for letting us know - and for taking the time to review the
game. It's most appreciated.
So, a tough audience ... but I get where you're coming from. The
criticisms that Liam (?) raised have certainly been mentioned
before - the game can be pretty chaotic and unfair if the chaos
lands disproportionately with you. Yeh, that kinda sucks if your
shiny new empire gets bombed back to the stone age in one turn, but
not only is that intentional, but we made it pretty easy to recover
should that happen. Yes, you can nuke someone, play the "look
through the deck" card and nuke them again and yes, that hurts, but
it's damn funny for everyone else.
Some people say we're sacrificing gameplay for theme and that may
well be the case, but I prefer to see it as not looking for
something in War on Terror that isn't there. It's not Diplomacy or
Chess. Pure strategies don't exist - nor will they probably be
rewarded. It's a very human game and full of human error. China's a
weakspot to build your empire? No kidding - don't build there in
great concentration unless you have a nuclear bunker handy (and a
nuke for deterrence, why not?).
Anyway, sorry, I don't mean to sound defensive - it was an honest
review and I can't (and don't want to) control how you approach the
game. However, I did actually want to write with some advice. Some
people find that they're not being aggressive enough and they focus
only on empire building. Suddenly someone builds 3 cities and
they've won. The solution here is to look ahead and keep people who
are within 3 or 4 points of winning well in check. Other people
have the opposite problem and are too aggressive and initiate a
damaging and money-sapping tit-for-tat battle where you basically
take it in turns to demolish each others' empire. These games can
be particularly chaotic and "tippy". The solution here is to be
creatively aggressive. Pay someone else to do your fighting for you
- or better still, play two Empires off against each other.
I just wanted to offer that to those of you who are interested in
playing the game again. It can be tamed and it can be very
rewarding - you can almost go as deep with the game as the group
wants to go. I know I've left some particularly intense games
psychologically and emotionally drained.
Anyway, thanks once again. I like your show - very listenable.
Good stuff! He also said it's spurred him to make a video on
how to play the game to get the most out of it, which I haven't
been able to find yet but will post here if I do so basically this
useless sentence serves no purpose but as a placeholder.